Mets ace Max Scherzer eases panic after explaining why he left Saturday start early

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New York Mets fans can breathe a sigh of relief after hearing what ace Max Scherzer said after Sunday’s start abruptly ended at Citi Field.

Scherzer left the Mets’ game against the Washington Nationals early due to “left side fatigue” after pitching 67 times in five innings. But watching fans might panic when Scherzer immediately announces his outing is complete and leaves the mound looking distraught.

“Nothing special, I don’t have any pressure, just the left side is getting tired faster than usual,” Scherzer said via the New York Post. “So given the history of the slash, it’s a precaution.”

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Mets' Max Scherzer against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on September 3, 2022 in New York City.

Mets’ Max Scherzer against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on September 3, 2022 in New York City.
(Mike Stob/Getty Images)

Scherzer has been on the shelf for seven weeks this season due to an oblique strain. Despite a full recovery, it is always a tricky soft tissue injury that can reappear.

So, as a precaution, Scherzer made the executive decision to end his night.

“Is there a situation where I can go there and throw a sixth and be fine? Yes, it could have happened,” he explained. “But if I got hurt in Game 6, there’s no way I’d come here and look at these people’s faces and say I made the right decision. In this situation, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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Scherzer is a seasoned veteran who understands the risks his team faces. The Mets lead the NL East by two games over the Atlanta Braves, who are heading for the division title. With just one month left to play, Scherzer’s presence in the rotation, especially in the playoffs, is essential for the Mets.

Mets' Max Scherzer in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals on Saturday, September 3, 2022 in New York.

Mets’ Max Scherzer in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals on Saturday, September 3, 2022 in New York.
(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

“You can’t take any risks, especially where the calendar is,” he said. “There’s no time to re-accelerate. So I think that’s a big factor in being out after five.”

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The Mets have shown their depth and clutch play all season, making them major World Series contenders for the first time since attending that dance in 2015. Scherzer’s addition to the rotation not only caused the expected hit to the team’s pitching numbers, but to the locker room.

The 38-year-old is a natural leader who leaves everything on the field even when he doesn’t schedule pitches. The Mets matched Scherzer’s intensity and never backing down.

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer has been sidelined for seven weeks this season due to a diagonal strain.

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer has been sidelined for seven weeks this season due to a diagonal strain.
(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Since Scherzer came back from that IL stop with his slash, he jumped straight back into the fold with a 2.22 ERA in 12 games.

Scherzer also doesn’t believe he’ll miss his next start.

“Give these days a break and I should feel better soon,” he said.

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The Mets will lose to the Nationals 7-1 in this game.

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